This Vegan Holiday Roast is a savory and delicious substitute to that traditional Thanksgiving main course. Wrapped in rice paper for a crispy finish and brimming with flavorful juices, it’s unforgettable. Meatless, dairy-free, nut-free, and bursting with fall flair.
Vegan Holiday Roast
This Thanksgiving roast is a variation of my to-die-for Vegan Steaks. It’s the best roast for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner alongside my olive oil mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, beyond stuffing and roasted carrots . It’s the perfect substitute for chicken or turkey, super easy to make and extra delicious drizzled with our cashew queso or chimichurri sauce. Plus, it’s fail-proof, protein-loaded, and features plenty of fall flavors such as sage, rosemary and thyme.
Cruelty-free, baby! Does it get any better?! The answer to that is “no” and I’ll scream it if I have to. If you miss the flavors and texture of meat, this is the substitute you’ll fall in love with. It tastes unbelievably like meat and it’s hard to tell the difference. I can’t stress enough that plant-based recipes are the way to go. You’re going to be exceptionally surprised by the flavor of every dish.
How to Make a Vegan Holiday Roast
- Make the dough – Combine all the ingredients except those for the crust, in a food processor.
- Knead the dough – Transfer the mixture to the counter and knead for 3-5 minutes or until fibrous. Form the seitan into a loaf.
- Boil – Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the loaf to the water and lower the heat so the water gently simmers. Boil for 25 minutes.
- Prep the rice paper – Fill a bowl with warm water and submerge the first sheet of rice paper for 7 seconds and lay it on a wet plate.
- Wrap the loaf – Place the loaf on top of the rice paper and start folding the paper upwards. Submerge the second paper and place it on the top of the loaf and fold it downwards.
- Season – Brush the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings, rubbing in the seasonings with your fingers.
- Bake – At 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Storage – Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I would not suggest freezing this recipe. I’m not a fan of the resulting flavor.
- Reheating – Reheat in a baking dish at 350 degrees fahrenheit, covered tightly with foil to keep it from drying out. You can add a splash of stock in the pan for steam or place a few slices of oranges or lemon below the roast. The microwave also works in a pinch.
- Boil before roasting – When you boil the setain before roasting, it keeps it from drying out. Nobody wants a dry dish.
- Make your holiday roast in advance – Do all the steps up to boiling the roast, and once boiled, store the dough. You can roast it when you’re ready to serve it.
- Don’t over knead the roast – Just knead the roast until fibrous. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- The tomato sauce is vital – The sauce is a large part of keeping the meat juicy and tender. Without it, the roast isn’t near as satisfying or juicy.
- More side dish options – These side dishes also pair well with this roast: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, Vegan Balsamic Cranberry Sauce, Vegan Dinner Rolls, Thanksgiving Wild Rice Pilaf, Vegan Broccoli Casserole and this easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole.
What is Seitan?
Seitan is also known as wheat gluten, which is one of the main proteins found in wheat. It’s not tofu or tempeh, like some would have you believe. These two ingredients are made from soybeans while seitan is not. In order to end up with seitan, wheat flour dough is washed until all the starch has been removed. These are also known as dough particles. What results is a fibrous mass, that’s used as a meat substitute for vegan meals.
What is Vital Wheat Gluten?
Vital wheat gluten is simply another term for seitan. Seitan is simply a wheat protein separated from wheat flour dough. There are a couple of nicknames it might go by, vital wheat gluten being one of them. In fact, you may see this term pop up more often on ingredient lists than seitan. Click here to order your Non GMO wheat gluten!
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Thanksgiving Vegan Holiday Roast
- 3/4 cup cannellini beans cooked
- 1.25 cup wheat gluten
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce (thick homemade ideally)
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pinch red chili flakes optional to taste
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh chives snipped
- 1 small sprig rosemary chopped leaves only
- 4 sage leaves chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves only
- 1-2 tsp fresh parsley minced
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 round pieces rice paper
- 1 pinch sweet paprika
- 1 pinch sea salt
- olive oil for brushing
- To the bowl of food processor add the cannellini beans, tomato sauce, tamari, nutritional yeast together with all the spices, herbs, wheat gluten and 1/2 cup of water. Process until a dough is form. Carefully transfer to your kitchen counter or a pastry board.
- Knead the dough (sprinkling with more wheat gluten as need not to stick) for a few minutes until a fibrous texture is visible. Three to five minutes is all it takes. Form the sienna into a loaf.
- Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Transfer the roast to the boiling water and turn down the heat if needed so a gentle but constant simmer is achieved. Boil for 25 minutes keeping an eye on the pot so it doesn’t boil over. Transfer to a plate.
- Fill a bowl with warm water (use a similar size with the rice paper).
- Submerge one sheet of rice paper in the water and count to 7. Remove and transfer to a wet plate.
- Place your roast on top of the soaked rice paper then start folding it upwards.
- Dip the other rice paper in the water until softened then place it on top of the roast and wrap it downwards.
- Brush the top with some olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use your fingers to rub in all the spices.
- Transfer the roast to a small baking dish lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. I like to lay mine on top of fresh herbs, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme and a couple of slices of lemon or orange.
- Preheat your oven to 400”F and bake the roast for 20 to 25 minus until golden brown and crisp on top.
- Storage - Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I would not suggest freezing this recipe. I’m not a fan of the resulting flavor.
- Reheating - Reheat in a baking dish at 350 degrees fahrenheit, covered tightly with foil to keep it from drying out. You can add a splash of stock in the pan for steam or place a few slices of oranges or lemon below the roast. The microwave also works in a pinch.
- Boil before roasting - When you boil the setain before roasting, it keeps it from drying out. Nobody wants a dry dish.
- Make the roast in advance - Do all the steps up to boiling the roast, and once boiled, store the steak. You can roast it when you’re ready to serve it.
- Don’t over knead the roast - Just need the roast until fibrous. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- The tomato sauce is vital - The sauce is a large part of keeping the meat juicy and tender. Without it, the roast isn’t near as satisfying.
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